Mayor of Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, said: "Following extensive discussions with Ministers, local council leaders and I have agreed with Government that South Yorkshire will move into Tier 3, the ‘very high’ alert level for coronavirus restrictions.
The restrictions will come into force from 00:01 on Saturday, October 24 and cover all four local authority areas – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
“We all recognise the gravity of the situation and have taken the responsible route to ensure we save lives and livelihoods, and protect our NHS.
"More older people are contracting the virus.
"The number of people with COVID in our hospitals has doubled over the last ten days, with no signs this will relent over the coming weeks.
"Inaction was not an option."
Mr Jarvis added:“We called on Government to offer a local lockdown lifeline for our local authorities and economy, and the new restrictions will be introduced alongside resources which mean we are better equipped to control the virus and limit some of the damage on jobs and businesses.
“While infection rates vary across South Yorkshire, collective action was the only practical choice to keep everyone in our region safe.
"If restrictions are effective, individual local authorities will be able to move to lower alert levels as soon as it is safe to do so, in consultation with fellow local leaders, myself and national government.
“However, to reach that point as quickly as possible, it’s critical people in South Yorkshire follow the new restrictions as soon as they are in place. I want to thank everyone in the region for their perseverance.
"The character and grit of people in South Yorkshire will be needed in abundance to help us get through what will be an incredibly challenging period.
"Our NHS staff have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic to keep us all safe.
"We owe it to them to ease the pressure ahead of the toughest winter our health service will ever face. I know people will step up and do their bit.”
The restrictions mean:
- People must not socialise with anybody they do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
- People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
- All pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals
- People should try to avoid travelling outside the Very High alert level or entering a Very High alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey
- Residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the Very High alert area
- In addition, the following restrictions will also apply in South Yorkshire:
- Betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres.
- Gym classes will not be allowed and social distancing guidelines should be followed between people from different households (but gyms will remain open).